Mental health has become a major workplace topic in recent years, but with a surge in anxiety caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, managing and supporting mental health at work has never been more crucial.

Over the past year, working patterns for almost everyone have changed with the rise of remote working. A YouGov survey has highlighted how the Covid -19 outbreak has impacted the overall mood in the UK, with 48% of Britons feeling stressed and 42% feeling frustrated.

However now is an ideal time for businesses to place a sharper focus on talking about employee mental health, whether teams are working onsite or remotely. As restrictions start to ease and working patterns are once again changed to more a hybrid style. How will employees cope with having to change the way they work again?

Around 82% of employees with a diagnosed mental health condition do not confide in management, and 40% of employees have given a false reason when taking time off for mental health. So it’s clear, more than ever, that employers need to break the culture of silence within the workplace.

It is key now that employers are more conscious of the challenges different households are facing. Encouraging flexibility, self-care and regular check-ins are going to be key to reducing presenteeism and stress, whilst ensuring employees facing any issues can be identified and supported. By encouraging transparent conversations and putting action plans in place for team members who need help, businesses can be a key player in reducing the impact mental health issues can have on their employees and business operations.

I’m sure we will start to see more and more on this issue as offices around the country start to fill up again.